With the release of last year’s critically-adored Shoplifters, the Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda cemented his reputation as a leading figure of contemporary world cinema.
Shoplifters, which tells the story of a group of outsiders living in a ramshackle bungalow on the outskirts of Tokyo who form an unconventional family unit, took home the top prize at Cannes Film Festival in 2018.
Like Ken Loach, Ingmar Bergman, and Yasujirō Ozu, Kore-eda’s films are strikingly intimate human stories, with beautifully realised characters.
Although he has worked in a wide range of different genres across his nearly 25 year career – from courtroom drama to fantasy - it is his quiet, contemplative family dramas for which he is perhaps best known.
These films range from the profoundly personal to wider observations of culture and tradition, burying deep into the heart of the family unit to examine modern-day Japanese society.
This April and May - to coincide with a major retrospective of his films at BFI Southbank in London - join us as at the Showroom Cinema as we revisit Kore-eda’s body of work with a selection of our favourite titles.
The season is a perfect introduction for anyone new to the director, or those who don’t want to miss the opportunity to see the making of a modern master.
Of Flesh and Blood: The Films of Hirokazu Kore-eda kicks off this Sunday at 3.30pm with the wonderful I Wish (2011).
The film tells the story of two young brothers - separated by their parent’s divorce and living in different cities with one partner - who begin to believe that wishes will be magically fulfilled at the moment when two newly constructed bullet trains connecting their distant towns cross.
I Wish deftly balances moments of gentle fantasy with a deeply affecting and sweet natured coming-of-age tale set against a backdrop of family conflict.
The film also features star turns from two real-life siblings in the roles of brothers Koichi and Ryunosuke.
The season continues with six more of Kore-eda’s films, including Nobody Knows; Maborosi; Still Walking; Our Little Sister; After Life and Shoplifters.
Of Flesh & Blood: The Films of Hirokazu Kore-eda is at the Showroom Cinema from Sunday the 14th of April to Wednesday the 29th of May.
I Wish is screening on Sunday the 14th of April at 3.30pm and Thursday the 18th of April at 6pm. For more details, and to book tickets, please visit: https://www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/of-flesh-and-blood